When a person dies, a process known as "estate administration" must be carried out. This refers to all the processes which must be followed in distributing a person's estate to their heirs or devisees.

If the decedent wrote a will before his or her death in Riverside, New Jersey, the process will be carried out according to the directives included in the will, assuming they are legitimate and enforceable.

Often, the will appoints an executor whose job it is to oversee the administration of the will.

The person named as executor of an estate usually has some work ahead of them. To ensure that they actually follow through on their commitments, most people name as executor the person who will get the most money, or other benefit, if the will is given effect as written. Because an estate can't be distributed until the administration process is complete, the executor has an incentive to see it through.

What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?

If a Riverside, New Jersey will does not assign anyone to serve as executor, or there is no will, the court has to choose someone to fill that role.

Usually, this will be the person who has the most to gain from the will, or who would gain the most under New Jersey's intestacy scheme (the system that distributes the decedent's property to his or her closest living relatives, if he or she dies without a will).

In cases where the will doesn't name an executor, or the person named is unable to take on that role for whatever reason, any person who has some direct share in the decedent's estate (either because they're named in the will or stand to inherit by intestacy) can petition a Riverside, New Jersey court to be assigned executor.

Once an executor is finally named, he or she becomes responsible for serving as the living embodiment of the estate, utilizing all legal means to protect the estate's interests (such as mounting plausible legal defenses against creditors).

Can a Riverside, New Jersey Estate Administration Attorney Help?

If you have unexpectedly been appointed to be the executor of a relative's estate, and don't know how to handle this process, you should speak with a reputable Riverside, New Jersey wills and trusts attorney.